Cyclone Asani update: Red alert in Andhra Pradesh as cyclonic storm changes direction; NDRF teams deployed in state


Severe cyclonic storm Asani has changed its direction and is likely to reach west central Bay of Bengal, close to Andhra Pradesh coast on Wednesday, following which a red alert has been sounded in the state by the Indian Meteorological Department.

"Cyclone warning and a red alert have been given to Andhra Pradesh. Till yesterday, the track was showing a northwest direction but in the last 6 hours, it is moving towards the West-Northwest direction. So, it's very near to our Andhra Pradesh coast," Visakhapatnam cyclone warning centre director Sunanda told news agency ANI.

As many as nine teams have been deployed by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Andhra Pradesh and seven others have been kept on standby. In Odisha, one team has been deployed and 17 have been put on standby, whereas in West Bengal, 12 teams have been deployed and five were on standby.

In view of cyclone Asani, traffic movement on the Kakinada-Uppada beach road in Andhra Pradesh has been suspended. "Pitch road is damaged, we put up two check-posts in our limits to control vehicular movement. Roads are getting damaged. We’re stopping everybody from taking this route," police said.

Warning of heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh

Rains continue to lash most parts of the Kakinada district in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday morning. Dr Nagaratna, Head, Meteorological Centre, Hyderabad, told news agency ANI that heavy to very heavy rainfall warning has been issued along the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The officials said that cyclone Asani has changed its direction and is going to touch the nearby Kakinada coast after which it will come again to sea between Kakinada and Visakhapatnam.

Telangana's Nalgonda, Suryapet, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Khammam and Mulugu districts are also expected to receive light to moderate rainfall.

Officials from the weather office said that Hyderabad is likely to experience light rains in the next 24 hours and cloudy conditions would persist for the next 48 hours.

Cyclone Asani starts losing steam

Severe cyclone Asani over west central Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 12 kmph and has weakened into a cyclonic storm, India Meteorological Department (IMD) told on Wednesday morning.

"It's very likely to move nearly northwestwards for next few hours and reach Westcentral Bay of Bengal close to Andhra Pradesh coast. Thereafter, it's very likely to recurve slowly north-northeastwards, move along Machilipatnam, Narsapur, Yanam, Kakinada, Tuni and Visakhapatnam coasts," India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The weather office further said that cyclone Asani will emerge into west central Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh coasts by Wednesday evening. "Then it is likely to move northeastwards towards northwest Bay of Bengal. It is likely to weaken gradually into a depression by morning of 12 May," it added.

IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra also said that the severe cyclonic storm will weaken into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday and turn into a deep depression on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Mohapatra said in Bhubaneswar that cyclone Asani has already achieved the maximum stage of intensification and is gradually getting weakened. "After nearing the Andhra Pradesh coast in the evening, the system will change its course and move off and along the Odisha coast," he added.

Meanwhile, light to moderate rainfall occured in Puri and Khurda and few places in north coastal Andhra Pradesh and coastal Odisha, since last night, have been witnessing heavy downpour.

"Storm surge owing to the cyclonic storm is likely to inundate low-lying areas of Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh," news agency PTI quoted the weatherman in Kolkata as saying.

Also, fishermen have been warned against venturing into the deep sea till Thursday, as Odisha and West Bengal braced for heavy rain. The Met department said that light to moderate rainfall is likely over districts of Gangetic West Bengal till 12 May.

Heavy rainfall has also been predicted at one or two places over Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, North and South 24 Parganas and Nadia districts of the state till 12 May morning.

Measures taken by Odisha to brace cyclone Asani

The Odisha government has put five districts - Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam and Gajapati - on high alert as the system will come "very close" to land at a place between Kakinada and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Apart from this, the coastal districts are also under alert for the eventuality, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.

"As Odisha's Malkangiri district is about 200 km from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, we have also mobilised rescue teams to the southern districts. They will be prepositioned well before the time of the cyclone passing near Odisha coast," PTI quoted P K Jena as saying.

In Ganjam district, all beaches including Gopalpur have been closed for visitors for two days. Also, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has put its officials on high alert in the wake of possible heavy rainfall triggered by the cyclone.

Don't Miss: Cyclone Asani: Fishermen out in sea despite warning narrowly escape as boats capsize off Odisha’s Ganjam coast; WATCH

The Odisha government announced that action under Disaster Management Act will be taken against fishermen venturing into deep seas by not heeding the IMD warning.

The decision was taken after six fishing boats capsized in the sea near Chatrapur in Ganjam district on Tuesday but around 60 fishermen swam ashore battling strong winds and sharp waves.

With inputs from agencies

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Cyclone Asani update: Red alert in Andhra Pradesh as cyclonic storm changes direction; NDRF teams deployed in state
Cyclone Asani update: Red alert in Andhra Pradesh as cyclonic storm changes direction; NDRF teams deployed in state
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